Croatia is one of the more than forty jurisdictions that have agreed to become training sites for the implementation of the UNODC Judicial Ethics Training Tools , with the aim to enhance judges' integrity and contribute to the fight against corruption in the judiciary at the global level. Training activities on judicial ethics are already regularly included in the annual programmes of the Croatian Judicial Academy (JA), which is the national public institution in charge of initial and continuous judicial training.
Ever since 1979, the Indian Supreme Court has accepted access to justice as a basic human right, a view propounded by legal scholars Mauro Cappelletti and Bryant Garth. Towards achieving this goal, the Legal Services Authority Act was passed by parliament in 1987. As a result of this legislation, free legal aid and advice is available to all women, children, persons in custody, and other disadvantaged persons. Access to justice has been challenged by COVID-19 in an unimaginable way.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has affected billions around the world and impacted all aspects of life and society. In the area of education, nearly 165 countries have implemented country-wide school and university closures, as indicated by the Secretary-General in his report 'Shared responsibility, global solidarity: responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 .' More than 1.5 billion children and youth are currently out of school or university, representing 87 per cent of the world's enrolled student population. In addition, over 60 million teachers are no longer in the classroom.
Responding to the global crisis, UNODC has launched the 'Lockdown Learners' series of online dialogues with students and educators in India on COVID-19 and its impact on SDGs, peace and the rule of law.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world has demonstrated that everyone is susceptible to the ravages of this virus, with some population groups more at risk than others depending on their age and health conditions. While these factors have been widely publicized , there are some groups which remain less visible in the public eye, but which are nevertheless an integral part of society; prisoners, for whom social distancing is not an option in tight spaces, are unable to take the same precautions as most other members of society.
UNODC's mission to promote crime prevention and criminal justice, amongst others, places strong value on the social rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners.
As the President of the Second High-Level Meeting of the Global Judicial Integrity Network and in my personal capacity, it pains me to see the whole world suffer under the terrible weight of this catastrophic COVID-19 virus. The images on television and in the newspapers show our world valiantly coping with the unknown. Doctors, nurses and health professionals in the world are teaching us all a lesson of sacrifice, solidarity and generosity. Let us be part of the world efforts in this fight for human life.